Setting the Global Agenda: Today’s Top Marketing Issues

March 11, 2016

Executive Summary

Brad Jakeman, president of PepsiCo’s Global Beverages Group, spoke to a crowded room for the Internationalist Global Summit’s discussion “Setting the Global Agenda: Today’s Top Marketing Issues.” Interviewed by Bob Liodice, president and chief executive officer at the ANA, Jakeman advocated for true disruption in the marketing industry, diversity, and bringing in outside talent. 

Key Takeaways

Disrupting the Industry

“Everyone in the industry is talking about disruption, but no one is actually doing any real disrupting.”

  • Disruption does not mean just coming up with new creative ideas. True disruption means fundamentally changing the marketing business structure and the way that things are being done.
  • Marketers need to be the types of people who want change and will embrace it. Nothing should ever be good enough and they should always be striving to do better. They should have a mindset of complete dissatisfaction with themselves — no matter how well business is performing.

Diversifying in the Workplace

“Eighty-five percent of the purchasing decisions are made by women, and yet when I show up at meetings with agencies, I am confronted by a sea of white males.”

  • The key to innovation is to have a more diverse workforce. You will not get innovative thinking with a homogeneous group of creatives. You need people who think differently, who act differently, who come from different backgrounds and have different perspectives about the world.
  • Diversity is a business issue, as well as an innovation issue. If the majority of purchasing decisions are made by women, it stands to reason that it will be easier for women to develop the right marketing strategies that will encourage other women to buy products.

Hiring Talent

“Abandon the legacy mindset that any smart person can be taught to do anything.”

  • Bring in people, don’t train them. The deep and narrow skillsets that are required to stay competitive in this ever-changing landscape are difficult to teach. Moreover, the time it takes to do so is stagnating the business. It’s much more efficient to hire a social media expert, instead of training one.
  • Make sure you’re looking for talent everywhere. Marketing people come in all different shapes and sizes. Don’t just hire people out of Ivy Leagues schools; look for people in talent agencies and studios, as well.

Moving Forward

“If not us, then who? If marketers are not going to disrupt and fundamentally change their own business practices, then who will?”

  • Brands need to think about disrupting themselves before they are disrupted. This is a time of significant change, and if brands do not accept this and disrupt themselves, they will have an enormous problem on their hands.
  • The first step to moving forward is to realize that there is a problem. Right now, the industry is living in a state of denial. Let’s all just agree that there is a problem, and figure what the next steps should be from here.
  • Brands should have a healthy paranoia about who is on their heels. If they are not constantly challenging themselves, someone else is most definitely going to come along and do it better.

"Setting the Global Agenda: Today's Top Marketing Issues." Brad Jakeman, President of Global Beverages Group at PepsiCo; and Bob Liodice, President and Chief Executive Officer at ANA. Internationalist Global Summit, 3/11/16.

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